He has already defied the critics by being a Canadian boy who made his way into the NBA and became an allstar. His journey has already been well documented by the book "Long Shot : Steve Nash's Journey to the NBA".
Steve Nash was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, but grew up living in Victoria B.C., Canada. Nash was a multi talented athlete. Besides basketball, Nash also played soccer, hockey and lacrosse. Nash came from a soccer oriented family, having his father, John and brother, Martin playing professionally.
"Growing up in Victoria, my hero was Wayne Gretzky," Steve said. "I didn't really play basketball until I was 13." Nash picked up basketball because his friend's were playing it, and he used the instincts he learned in hockey and soccer to succeed at basketball quickly. He was also very hard working, shooting over 500 jump shots a day while still in school. He lists meeting Wayne Gretzky as one of the most exciting moments of his life, and Gandhi as the person he'd most like to dine with. His favourite NBA plyaer is Isiah Thomas.
Nash play high school ball at St. Michael's University School in British Columbia, where he won the AAA Senior Boys Provincial Championship. Upon graduation, as a Canadian, Nash wasn't well exposed to U.S. college scouts. He wasn't offered many basketball scholarships but did get one from Santa Clara University and Nash took the chance. He would finish an outstanding career at the college level, becoming the school's all-time leader in assists, 3-pointers made and free throw percentage. He was also twice named West Coast Conference player of the year.
Coming out of Santa Clara in 1995, Nash was the first round draft pick of the Pheonix Suns, selected 15th overall, the highest Canadian ever taken. Players taken before Steve in the same draft include Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant.
After being drafted by the Phoenix Suns, Nash essentially hit an obstacle in arguably the greatest point guard in the league right now, Jason Kidd. Playing second fiddle to Jason Kidd, Steve saw limited playing time during his rookie season. He registered only 10.5 minutes a game, 3.3 points and 2.1 assists. During his second season, Nash saw more playing time(22 minutes per game). He took the opportunities and raised his season scoring average to 9.1 points per game and 3.4 assists. Other general managers in the league took notice of this, and many inquired about the possibility of getting Nash.
In 1998, the Dallas Mavericks landed Nash in a trade for Martin Muursepp, Bubba Wells, Pat Garrity and a 1999 1st round pick. Yet, this was not the best of situations for Steve as the Mavericks were one of the NBA bottom feeders. With Dallas, Steve got the opportunities he deserved. He suited up as the Mavericks starting point guard that year and saw his assist totals improve. But it wasn't all roses. His scoring average went down that year along with his shooting percentage. But those could be attributed to the fact that Steve played through and injury hampered season, suiting up for only 40 games. 1999 proved not much different. What hurt moreso than his injuries were the fact that the fans were not pleased with Nash, who often drew the boobirds from the crowds. But that would soon end.
In the 2000-2001 NBA season, Nash finally broke out. He was feeling healthy and his play showed. With the emergence of Nash's good friend Dirk Nowitzki and the all-star status of Michael Finley, Nash took reigns of the Mavericks and registered career highs in points(15.6) and assists(7.3). More importantly, he was shooting almost 50% in field goals percentages and 90% in free throw percentages, among the tops in the league. At the 2001-2002 season, Nash continues to improve. He continues to register career highs in points and shooting percentages. His 3 point shooting has improved tremendously as have his assists and rebounding. He entered the 3 point competition at the allstar game for the second time, and most importantly, he became the first Canadian ever to be selected to the NBA Allstar game itself.
As a Canadian, Steve has always been proud to show his true colors. Most memorable was Steve leading Team Canada during the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Canada has had a basketball team in the Olympics 12 years prior to Sydney. Yet, with the leadership Steve provided, the Canadians finished 5-2 and 7th in the tournament, beating basketball powers like Yugoslavia and Russia. He recently took time out of a busy summer schedule to play for Team Canada to ensure a spot in the 2002 Basketball World Championships.
Favorite Team Member: Steve Nash